Cautious welcome to ministerial statement on mental health in the Scottish Parliament

Scotland news
07 November 2023

RCPsych in Scotland has cautiously welcomed a Ministerial Statement on a Vision for Scotland’s Mental Health announced in the Scottish Parliament, today.

The statement delivered by Maree Todd, Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport focused on the how the Delivery Plan is going for the Scottish Government’s Mental Health Strategy - which was first published in 2017 with an updated version out in June this year.

Dr Jane Morris, chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland, said:

“We welcome the focus on improving adult mental health services in today’s announcement. However, promises must be kept.

“Ministers must ensure they meet their funding commitments of 10% which is modest compared to other areas of the UK.

“We’d also urge the Scottish Government to take steps to ring-fence that money rather than leave it to individual Health Boards – otherwise we will continue to see a postcode lottery of care across the country.

“Making sure there is funding and a sufficient workforce in place to deliver services is absolutely critical especially with the up-and-coming Scottish budget, where difficult decisions will have to be made.

“We also need to see stigma tackled, which will be crucial in building an already depleted workforce.

“Focus on prevention must extend to addressing preventable harms in people with severe but treatable mental illness. We do have evidence these patients can be successfully treated but only with investment in excellent intensive high-quality services.

“One thing is for sure; funding and workforce will make or break the Delivery Plan. If pledges cannot be met, then this may influence the longer-term ambitions for the Mental Health Strategy.”

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